(The following is from a very long, venting email I sent to a dear friend. Things have been kinda weird around the Laughing Dog ranch lately and to quote Popeye: "I's had all me's can stands and I's can't stand no more!" The names have been changed to protect the stupid. We pick up at where I was thanking her for sending me some silly, but very funny jokes. Maybe this long stupid story will make up for spotty postings...then again, maybe not.
...Those were great! Thank you! I need to laugh right now.
My latest woe is trying to stay out of being in the middle of a dispute with 2 nutjobs. Unfortunately, they both have seen fit to wedge me there. Once again I cry out to the hills: "AM I THE ONLY NORMAL ONE HERE!?"
OK, here's the deal- The property next to mine sat empty on the market for quite awhile after the pizza folk left for greener pastures. The property consists of a 3 bedroom house, 10 acres and the old store building (which housed their pizza shop). One day this lady bought it....cash. She was about 10 years or so older than me and her husband had recently died. Great, I thought, we have something in common, and I looked forward to her settling in. She was a lost duck and was at that stage in her grief where you don't think straight most times and I think this purchase was part of that.
Enter the adult kids...they were upset that she had done such a thing and insisted that she not move there, all alone, etc. So they talked her into just sprucing the place up to 'flip' it, so she could get her money back. It was a flurry of activity there for a couple of months and yes, they did fix it up some. Not in a lavish manner, but more on a Walmart/Dollar General scale. But it was an improvement. The store building, however just sat, squalid and dilapidated. She used it to store her things while they were working on the house.
Anyway, this went on for a while. Folks coming and going, sounds of hammering and power saws. Then, they get done and she decides not to sell. Begins moving pick up truckloads of stuff into the house. Brings a pair of horses to hang out in the newly fenced pasture. (much to the joy of my girls!) Oh wonderful! She's not moving after all! The For Sale sign in the yard went down and I'm thinking we got neighbors again.
Her adult kid is living there and she's nowhere to be seen. I find out later that she has taken a homecare nursing gig way outta town that requires overnights most times. Her son is a slug of a kid who lives on Mountain Dew and Cheetos, smokes stinky cheap cigars and has a girlfriend, (wife? concubine?-the relation was never made clear to me.) who is about twice his size (- and he's a big feller!) looks to be about in her early 20's and is phobic about anything having to do with country living. She is especially fearful about my dogs. Actually, panic-stricken is a better phrase. It has been a source of much amusement for me. Not that I intentionally set out to torment her, mind you. But things happen. Every afternoon I take a walk with my dogs. I have 3 and I don't fool with leashes, cuz, hey, I don't have to. They all stick pretty close anyway. Out of the 3, Dennis is the most lovable and friendly--he's a pal to anyone.
One day they all set out ahead of me and Dennis took a left when he should have stayed straight-he wanted to check out the neighbors, too I reckon. She was in their yard watering some roses. Dennis trotted up, wagging his tail and doing the Hi, how are ya? thing.She came unglued!
I have never seen a fat gal move so fast!!! She leapt up on the porch and began shrieking...not screaming, not yelling...but absolute, uncontrollable, hysterical SHRIEKING, bordering on tears. In between the gibberish I could hear "get that dog!!"...get him away!!!...omygodohmygodohmygod...GET HIM OUT OF HERE!!! He's gonna bite me!!!!
Now I can understand being fearful of strange dogs, but I'm telling you this was waaa-aaaaaay over the top. I was momentarily perplexed. I honestly thought that maybe Dennis had snapped and maybe had growled at her or something, but no. Once I ran up there he was just standing in their yard, still wagging his tail and looking at her, curiously, cocking his head from side to side with every scream. As if to say "Lady, what's your friggin' problem?"
I apologized profusely and dragged Dennis off by the collar. My other dogs wisely stayed at the edge of the yard, just as flummoxed as I was. All the while she's screaming at me about how she is afraid of dogs and why do I have such "vicious" animals with little kids around and such and if they are near the house one more time she's gonna call the law etc.
Jeeuz!!! GET. A. GRIP WOMAN!!
Ok, so now I know this chick is freaky about dogs. I can deal. But then I witness another thing. Once again, she's outside...this time in a 2 piece swimsuit. That right there indicates some sort of mental instability--no woman in their right mind would dare go out in a bikini if they weighed about 265!!! (think, I'm kiddin'? I'm pretty good at weight estimations...this gal was HUGE!) Shit, I never even knew you could get 2 pieces in those sizes!!!!
Anywho, she's out there looking like a pale yard grub wrapped in a couple of pieces of curling ribbon, (Jabba the Hut readily comes to mind) and suddenly she begins to swat about her head and running in circles. Once again she flees to the porch, still swatting and then goes into the house and begins yelling. I can clearly hear her. "There's a damn fly out there!! A big one!! One of them horseflies or something!! I ain't going back out there!! God, I can't stand these bugs!!"
I'm laughin' my ass off.
Yes, horseflies are a bugger. And their bite can hurt like hell, but honestly, this gal has no business being out in the country. She's freakin' about everything!
But Ms. Phobia was just a diversion and amusement. I could handle reclusive, oddball neighbors. Hell, I'm one myself! It was about to get weirder.
On one of the rare days that Karen (the widow who bought the property) was there she mentioned to me that she had "sold" the store building and that a gal she knew would be moving in soon. I casually said Gee, I wished I had known you were gonna sell it, I would have put my name in the hat. (not that I would do anything with it, it's just a moneypit, but it would be a buffer zone.) She tells me that this was a spur of the moment thing, that this girl needed a place to live and that rather fool with all the responsibility of renting it out, she decided just to sell it to her outright. This gal was a friend of a friend of a sister of hers.(red flag # 1)
About a week later, one evening, a beat up old panel van pulls up into her yard and I can hear people talking and then they all go inside the house (by now it's spring, and I have all the windows open here and their house is very close to mine.) Shortly afterwards I hear dogs barking. It's that monotonous, continual "I'm bored" type of barking and these aren't little dogs! It's coming from the van. This in turn sets off my dogs, who are racing from window to window trying to get a fix on what's going on. This leads to a VERY LONG nite for me. The new dogs go on ALL nite. The barking is only halted whenever a male voice yells out: Shut Up, Elvis!! or Knock it off, Frosty!!! and then starts up again. Oy.
There goes the neighborhood.(red flag #2)
Next morning, I'm out tending to my chickens and I see this squat, little troll-like woman in the yard behind the store, she's trying to wrangle up a pair of dogs who are roaming about, peeing on everything. One is ginormous...looks to be part mastiff. I love dogs, but even this one scared me a bit.The other is a big white shepherd looking thing, all dingy looking. It starts to bark and raise hell at me. Good thing there was a wire fence twixt me and them. The woman makes her introductions and tries to talk over the incessant barking. Her name's Julie, but folks call her Tiki and she's part Cherokee and blah blah blah oh and this is Elvis (the mastiff looking one) and Frosty, here, is gonna have pups any day now!
Shoot...me...now.(bigass red flag # 3)
So anyhow 'Tiki' and her so called husband (I eventually got the drift that they weren't legally married somehow, but she always called him her husband who looked to be 10 years younger than her and she was a very rough, rode hard and put up wet 48 yr. old) began to set up house in the store, furnished in all the latest circa 1973 garage sale chic, with a few nods to the 80's tossed in. There's all this garish "Native" themed crap everywhere, too. She very proud of her Cherokee heritage, even though she has red hair and has no trace of Indian in her, physically. She says she's like 1/25th or some shit like that and that's enough to qualify her as Native American. Whatever.
And yes, the dog had pups...right on schedule. 9 of them!!!!! She keeps mommy dog and her brood in a little room in back. She doesn't worry about them peeing and pooping because it's a concrete floor and a door that opens to the outside, she'll just hose it out every few days.(!) When I saw it the drywall was soaked to about chest high from the frequent hosings. Jeez. Well, you're buying it...I guess whatever you want to do is alright.
Can you be a neat freak and a slob at the same time? Because this is how she struck me. As time went on I determined that this gal wasn't right in the head. The store's roof was bad, leaked in several spots, but this wasn't an immediate concern to her. She just arranged the furniture to avoid the drips and torrents, set out pots under the bad spots and the others she just let drip (or pour is more like it-the leaks were REALLY bad!). In the kitchen part there was a bad leak right above some shelves. Her solution was to just stack the stuff she didn't mind getting wet on the top shelf! It would dribble and splatter down to the floor. Because of the bad leaks the inside of the place was covered in moldy spots on the walls and in a few places even tree fungus was sprouting!! (like rotting logs in a forest.) Her only concern was "I wonder what type that is....?"
Hubby wasn't much better. He was a truck driver and so wasn't around much. Think Forrest Gump with a CDL. I could go on about her eccentricities, but the point is the gal was nuts, friendly enough, but nuts. And I was starting to suspect that Karen wasn't totally right in the head either! This sales arrangement had disaster all over it. Didn't want to rent to her because she didn't want the hassle of being a landlord? Like getting ensnarled in a complicated real estate transaction would be easier?! Something wasn't right here.
So the summer wore on. Karen was scarce. Tiki was getting entrenched in our lives. My eldest girl took a shine to her because she had all kinds of artsy-crafty stuff and would be over there, beading and making leather do-dads. I didn't mind too much. But there was still something peculiar about them both aside from being ig'nert as all get out.
She kept saying she was going to take the pups to Walmart to give them away, but never would. She expected people to come to her to get one, why, folks would beat a path to her door for one of these fine crossbred mutants. She managed to give way one. This still left a gang of 8 that were growing fast and running loose!
I never saw fat gal much after that. I guess she just hunkered down in the house now that she was completely over-run with her worst fears!!
Then Karen up and decided to sell the property again
...and that's when it all fell apart.
Things happened so fast in the past 2 weeks it made your head spin. First Tiki told me that Karen had agreed to split the property, selling only the portion that had the house and land and that she would get all the legalities in order for them to have the store. But for some reason she never got the wheels in motion. Tiki got impatient, it had been almost 3 months since Karen said she would get the papers drawn up. Karen made herself scarce again. Adult son was clueless about what was going on.
Tension was building. Rumors swirled about. At one point both accused each other of being "off their meds" and here was lil' ol' me stuck in the middle, trying like hell to be an innocent bystander, but waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Last week Tiki told me that she'd had enough, that if Karen was gonna keep dicking around then screw it, she wasn't gonna get another payment from her. She would be out of here by the end of the month.
Then this past Sat. I come home to a message on my machine from Tiki. Could I come over ASAP and help myself to whatever I wanted of her stuff (as IF!) because she was leaving THAT AFTERNOON and she could only take what would fit in her van!!!!!!
Oh...and would I be so kind as to take care of the pups, since she could only take one with her.
WHAT THE FUCKETY FUCK?????!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh. my. God.
We come over and Tiki is in a tizzy, ranting on about how crazy Karen has been and that she's sick of the bullshit. Her and her 'hubby' are hastily chucking boxes of stuff into the van. My oldest girl helped herself to some of the herbal books Tiki had and said that she could have. But basically all their excess stuff was junk. But I did politely take a broken vacuum cleaner at her insistence. She gives me a key to the place and gives me instructions on taking care of the pups. Where the chow is kept etc. She swears up and down that a guy from a no-kill shelter has offered to take them in a few days and gives me his number. Hubby makes a call to the sister of Karen telling her that they are leaving and to let Karen know. Then he goes around cutting all the phone lines (odd.) I feel weird letting my kids witness such derangement and shady behavior. It's an awkward goodbye.
Oh and sometime the furniture rental folks will be by to get the washer and dryer, could I let them in?
Hey, thanks, you've been a good friend and neighbor! BYE!
And then they were gone.
Left the place in a bigger mess than it was...of course. And a pack of wild part mastiff pups tearing up anything they can get a hold of. They haven't gone after my chickens yet...but soon I fear. Oh yeah...she left one of her cats here, too, since "he loves it so" here.
Now a week prior fat gal and son had moved out and weren't there so Tiki had agreed to feed and water Karen's horses until she could haul them out of there at the end of the month. Now she was gone.Guess who has to do that now?
Yesterday Karen showed up full of fury. So now I got to hear her side. Conclusion?Both are mad as hatters.
But at least Karen flipped me 20 bucks to feed her horses for the next 2 weeks.
So now here I am, trying to clean up a big mess that ain't of my making whatsoever and take care of other folks problems. Like that commercial sez- It's called being responsible. I did call the no-kill shelter guy and he said that he was trying to find homes for them but it wouldn't be until this weekend at the soonest.
That ain't quick enough.
The pups have figured out that no ones home next door and have taken up here. They chase the cats, drag garbage into the yard, get in the chicken house and eat the chicken food and worse of all, jump up and yank all my wash off the line. (my dryer went kerplunk during all this and am having to line dry my laundry right now.) They run off with the wash and drag it through the dirt. I'm still wearing a shirt from Monday, simply because I have nothing clean to wear!!!!!!!!! Well, I did...but half of it is back in the washer because it was all dirty from them playing with it and the rest...well, I'm sure I'll find them ....some where...torn to shreds...someday. The clothesline 'game' has been played out about 3 times already since Sunday. I'm running out of underwear.
In short...my life has become intolerable at this point.
Damn! I hate neighbors!!!!!
(Y'know...now that I've had time to cool off some it is a bit petty and whiney, and the stuff about the fat chick was kinda mean but it still pisses me off that I got stuck holding the bag here. I should count my blessings, however, I COULD HAVE HAD THESE FOLKS AS NEIGHBORS!)
Ok, so now it's Thursday. Everything nice in my yard, as far as flowers and landscaping goes is now trashed. I've taken to doing small loads of wash and hanging them up inside to dry. Sheets are problematic, however. My grown dogs have become apprehensive about even stepping outside because they get mobbed by these huge pups. They swarm around them, yipping and such. Dennis hates them. Zeke, the Freak just runs away. Hannah, the old maternal shepherd tolerates them but even she gets fed up quickly. Now when ever I open the front door to let mine out, they all just stand there or retreat to other parts of the house. That's how wigged out they are by these hoodlums.
The no-kill guy keeps putting me off. Naturally, any place like that is swamped. But I did find out some stuff. Like the fact that Tiki had totally LIED about the situation. (Gee, color me Shocked.) She had told him that she only had 3 pups to get rid of!! And that (are ya sitting down?) she was doing this as a favor to a neighbor, me, and that they were MY PUPS!!!!!!!
This changes things. Now he honestly tells me he doubts he can take that many at once. I make it quite clear to him that these weren't mine to begin with and I'm forced to consider other avenues to rectify this problem.
So I call the local vet to see if they have any ideas. Nope. Try the sheriffs. Ok, I know that's a dead end and it was. Nothing they can do. They suggest I shoot them.
Possums, raccoons, snakes, and other varmints I have no problem pluggin' and have done it, often. Puppies? That's a whole 'nuther deal...don't have the heart or guts to do it. Besides when you are talking that many, how can you contain them enough for a clean kill? And then there's the disposal of remains to deal with. If I had any way to transport THAT many in the first place they would have been gone, like days ago to the H/S about 60 miles away! As it is I can't get them all into my lil' car and maintain enough control to drive. But I gotta think of something, some way to do it because this is insane!! Sounds crazy to be kowtowed by just a pasel of "puppies", but that's what has happened. Even my kids won't go outside. These lil' monsters are so pining for any human contact they go ape whenever the door opens.